Horse Joint Supplements Guide
When a racehorse races, its body is put through a lot of strain. Not only can this have an impact on their general health, but it can also cause inflammation and discomfort in the joints over time. Joint supplements may help to improve joint health and therefore ease joint pain. It might be the difference between winning and losing. The last thing any racehorse owner wants to hear is that their prized equine didn’t reach its full potential, or worse, was harmed as a result of joint problems that could have been potentially avoided.
If you own a horse, joint supplements are worth considering. They can help your horse recover more quickly from tough workouts and injuries, as well as make the joints in their body more comfortable and decrease the likelihood of them becoming sore after ordinary activities or racing.
- So what are joint supplements?
Generally they’re a non-steroidal joint lubricant that the horse can take just as you would take ibuprofen or paracetamol. The joint supplement helps to manage joint discomfort from arthritis, joint injuries, and joint inflammation during strenuous workouts. It does this by decreasing joint swelling and pain after exercise, helping to restore joint fluid viscosity, and increasing joint stability.
- What’s in joint supplements?
A lot of joint supplements have a plethora of ingredients in them. This is because joint problems in the horse can be due to a lack of any one specific nutrient in the body or a vitamin deficiency.
Glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, and hyaluronic acid are popular supplements. According to studies, these substances promote inflammation reduction via several pathways and provide cartilage cell building blocks that assist to repair arthritic joints and alleviate pain. These joint supplements also stimulate joint fluid circulation to help reduce joint swelling and compression on joint cartilage, which can lead to joint disease.
Another ingredient commonly found in joint supplements is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). This nutrient helps to improve joint health by stimulating the production of collagen for healthy connective tissue that helps joint cartilage have a cushion-like effect.
There are also joint supplements that contain omega 3s, a vitamin called choline, and anti-oxidants to boost the immune system and help fight joint disease from free radicals.
- How do joint supplements help thoroughbreds?
A joint supplement can help racehorses in a variety of ways. The most important way it helps is by reducing joint inflammation, pain, and swelling after strenuous workouts or injuries. This allows your horse to recover more quickly from the day’s activities while also preventing future joint problems that could result in injury. When joint health is maintained, joint problems are less likely to occur. This prevents your horse from being at risk of joint disease. Joint supplements can boost joint mobility and flexibility for an improved stride length. A racehorse with good joint health will perform better at the races because they aren’t hindered by soreness or stiffness.
Joint supplements can be used as an alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs like phenylbutazone (Bute). This is because joint supplements are generally not harsh on the liver and other organs like phenylbutazone may be.
- Using different supplements, for different issues?
Because joint problems can stem from various causes, it is important to find joint supplements that include ingredients that address the issues you are facing.
If joint stiffness is a problem, joint supplements containing MSM can be very helpful, as it has been shown to increase joint mobility by helping joint lubricants work better.
Glucosamine, or chondroitin sulphate, may be helpful if joint cartilage is degrading. These joint supplements are also helpful for joint problems stemming from the breakdown of joint hyaluronic acid, which provides joint cushioning.
Collagen is a joint-strengthening substance that promotes joint repair. It can help with cartilage deterioration-related arthritis.
Copper, zinc, and manganese are all trace minerals that assist in the formation of cartilage and joint fluid as well as maintaining joint health.
Choline, a type of joint cushioning nutrient, is quite popular since it aids in the joint cartilage maintaining its cushion-like effect.
If joint inflammation is a problem, joint supplements containing omega 3s fatty acid supplementation supports joint health and anti-inflammatory nutrients like chondroitin sulphate can be helpful. These joint supplements also have ingredients that reduce joint pain and swelling through the decrease of joint fluid viscosity and joint inflammation.
- Which joint supplements to avoid
Some joint supplements are known to be harsh on the liver. This can be dangerous for horses with joint problems because their liver is already under stress trying to function properly, especially after strenuous workouts. The joint supplements that are known to be harsh on the liver are joint supplements containing vitamin A or selenium. Harsh joint supplements on the liver can cause vitamin A toxicity, which is harmful and can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and calcium, and selenium toxicity, which causes problems with the thyroid gland and pancreas.
- Are joint supplements safe
Joint supplements are usually safe, but you should still be cautious when giving them to your horse. Excessive joint lubricant nutrients like hyaluronic acid could cause colic in racehorses; too much joint cushioning nutrients like choline could cause joint swelling and joint fluid accumulation; too much joint strengthening nutrients like collagen could cause joint stiffness and joint swelling.
Finding joint supplements might be complicated since there are so many to choose from; you’ll need to consult with your veterinarian or a nutritionist who is familiar with equine joints about what would work best for your horse.
Supplementation alone cannot make the joint healthy; it’s necessary for the horse to also strengthen its muscles and stay in shape by eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. The best part about these products is that they can be taken in conjunction with other medications your vet might prescribe, making it easy to make sure your animal friend gets everything they need.